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Prairie View High School

Gleichmann- INSTRUCTOR



The purpose of these projects is to give the student a chance to explore the literature in creative and non-traditional ways.  Of course, each book that we read will be the subject of Socratic discussion. These projects will, I hope, increase your understanding and appreciation of the books.


You will be asked to form study groups that will work together on a variety of projects that include vocabulary assignments, sample AP exams, discussion of poems and creative assignments.  Everyone must do the projects marked on the syllabus with asterisks, but each group must bid on at least three of the other projects listed and present them on the days mentioned on the syllabus.  Groups may bid on more than three projects for extra credit.  So read through these and choose wisely.



I.                   Poem based on family photograph- DONE BY EVERYONE** Due Aug 16


Each of you will be asked to select a family photograph (make sure you are in it) and write a poem based on the photograph.  Type the poem, but write your name on the back of the paper.  Then on August 16, bring both the poem and the photograph to class.


II.                 Oedipus or Antigone Project- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Aug 30


Write a movie synopsis of Oedipus for modern times.  Include where it would take place, the actors you would cast, how he comes to marry his mother and kill his father




Since scholars say that Creon is the true protagonist of this play, we will put him on trial.  Part of your group should prepare a defense and part should be the prosecution.  The rest of the class will be the jury and render a verdict.



III.             Salesman Project-OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Sept 7


Stage a talk show with the Loman family as dysfunctional guests.  Make sure you have a pop psychologist on the panel and someone as the host.  The rest of the class will be the audience.  Please note: your talk show should feature civilized discussion; IT IS NOT A SHOW WHERE CHAIRS OR PUNCHES ARE THROWN (even in jest).


IV.              Stalin Information- DONE BY EVERYONE**  Due Sept 23


Collect historical data on the life of Josef Stalin and report to the class on his bid for power, background and reign in Russia.


V.                 Ivan Denisovich- One Day of a PVHS Student- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Sept 20


 Create a PVHS student and follow him through the halls, give us a tour of his day, a blurb of what goes on in each class, lunch, lockers, conversations with friends, etc.


VI.              Presentations of Research Essay- DONE BY EVERYONE**  Starts Oct 11


You will be asked to give a brief overview of your historical research essay.  You may choose to jazz it up with visual aids such as books, pictures, music, etc.


VII.           Presentation based on Medieval History -- Open for BIDS  Due Oct 11


The  group will present information about daily life, historical events, major literary pieces from the Medieval time period and its effects upon modern society.


VIII.        Group Map Projects- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Oct 25


       The group will make one map that charts the course of Candide’s journey



IX.              A Picaresque Tour- DONE BY EVERYONE**  Due Oct 25


We will take an exciting walk around PVHS, as wide-eyed freshmen will in August writing our observations as we go.  Several minutes will be devoted to observing life on the commons area.  This is done in conjunction with Candide.



X.                 The Modern Gulliver Project- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Nov 15


Your group will make up a journal and a map of imaginary places where a modern day Gulliver might travel.  You should have at least four places where Gulliver goes with a satirical look at the modern world.



XI.              The Great Debate- DONE BY EVERYONE**  Due Nov 29


Each member of the class will be placed on a team.  One team will prove that Brave New World is an efficient and productive society; the other side will argue against this idea.


XII.           The Creation of a Dystopia- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Dec 15 (day of Final)


Create a nightmare society complete with laws, symbols, power structure, etc.  This society is not about making its citizenry content but controlling them through fear and intimidation.


*********Modern Dystopias- each student will research an area of the world that could be classified as a dystopia.  This will be done by everyone.


XIII.        Observations of Invisibility- DONE BY EVERYONE**  Due Jan 10


You will be asked to observe either in the school or outside who are ignored and overlooked by society.


XIV.        Goodman Brown Board Game- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Jan 24


Your group will create a board game based on the short story with pieces, cards, game board, etc.  You may take an existing board and lay paper over it to create a new game.  Teach people from other groups how to p lay.


XV.           Hamlet Project- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Feb 7


Everyone in the group wears black that day and has a conversation using Shakespearean language.  The group may choose to discuss an event in the play or have a more general conversation that demonstrates a flair for his diction and syntax.


XV.    The Kite Runner Project- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Feb 14

Look up the history of kite running in Afghanistan.  Discuss its appeal to young men and its present status.  Also discuss what happened to this national pastime under the Taliban regime.


XVI.   Wuthering Heights Video or Slide Show- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Mar 7


Create slides of scenes from the novel with group members posing as characters or make a short film based on events from the novel.  Our local parks will have to double for the moors.


XVII.     Pride and Prejudice Etiquette Lessons- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Mar 21


Write the rules of etiquette for teenagers as they are defined by today’s standards.  Compare them to the information your received on the accomplished woman, modes of discourse and address, what is considered appropriate clothing and good manners.


XVIII.   Macbeth Psychology Project- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due Apr 18


You will be given a list of disorders or syndromes that Macbeth and his wife may have been suffering from and asked to do research into these disorders to diagnose their problems.


XIX.        The Stranger Clemency Hearing- OPEN FOR BIDS  Due May 2


Have a group member represent Meursault in front of a clemency board that will recommend either the guillotine or life imprisonment, or even a lesser sentence.  Other group members should act as mediator or judge and advocates opposing or supporting clemency. The rest of the class will act as the actual board deciding on Meursault’s fate.


XX.           The Metamorphosis Creative Project- DONE BY EVERYONE**  Due May 13


Have some fun with Gregor, AKA YOU.  Put yourself on a talk show or game show, design a set for a play based on YOU, compose YOUR theme song, draw a sketch of YOUR brain, create YOUR high school yearbook, etc. The point here is to tie yourself to Gregor in the sense of how you have transformed this year.





Research Essay

Witness to Literary History

Diary/Journal Creative Research Project

Mr. Gleichmann


                For your second semester research project, you are going to be using both creativity and research.  You are going to imagine that you are living during a particular literary period and are a witness to and/or participant in the events that occurred during that time.  You will research the time period and create a character who writes a diary/journal which reflects your thoughts as that person.


This diary/journal must include:

          Ten appropriately dated diary/journal entries. The entries should be written in your character’s words and MUST reflect the important events of the era.  You will write one entry of at least 200 words per week.  The combination of these will count as a double essay grade third quarter. 

          You will be writing as first person; however, when you write about events occurring or insights that you have on those events, you will document your sources JUST LIKE YOU WOULD IF YOU WERE WRITING A REGULAR RESEARCH PAPER.  In other words, you will be using parenthetical citations throughout, even though it will be strange to have parenthetical citations in the middle of a diary/journal format.

          You will use a minimum of four sources,  one of which must be a print, non-

       Internet source.  You may NOT use encyclopedias as your sources (that                          

       includes Wikipedia—or however it is spelled—and Encarta).  These will be

       printed out the same way you did last semester, and you will attach a correct

       MLA bibliography card to each.  These are due on Tuesday, January 11.  Late

       sources will receive a 0 test grade.

          The last page of your diary/journal will be a Works Cited page in correct

      MLA format.  This Works Cited page does NOT count as one of your ten


          These journal entries will be in your own words, not plagiarized.

          Your first journal will be due Wednesday, January 19.  After that date, you will complete a journal every Wednesday (January 26, February 2, 9, 16, 23; March 2, 9, 16, 23). Your works cited page will be due April 8. Your final project (which will include your research, bibliography cards, rough drafts, final project) will be due April 14. You may turn in the final project on April 8th for 3 points extra credit.

          I will correct these journals and return them to you each week.  You should revise/retype as appropriate for your final project.  If you correct/revise them as they are returned, you will have the bulk of your project done very easily.

          When your final project is due, you MUST turn in hard copies (i.e., typed, corrected versions) of your journal entries.  You may choose to turn in these as your final project (along with list above); however, your creative touches (writing out the letters in legible writing, including extra materials, typing in appropriate font, putting in a notebook, etc.) will be what will add points to your grade.


Keys for success in this project:

           Character—Introduce your character in the first entry and continue to develop that character throughout the remaining entries.  Give your character an appropriate name if you are dealing with a person in general; obviously, if you are using a historical character, you will use the person’s true name.  Describe your family life, where you live, what you do for a living, what social class you are in, what of importance occurs during your life, etc. 


          Historical information—Based on your research, make it clear how the historical events of the time period are affecting your character.  Make your references specific but personal.  Date all events accurately.


          You are encouraged to include appropriate paintings, sketches, or pictures to add color and to heighten interest in your journal.  It was common for people to include mementos in the diaries similar to those found in modern scrapbooks.


          Journals are going to be graded on both completion and on creativity, on both quality and quantity.  If you do not have the complete number of journals (10), your grade will be severely penalized.  If you merely turn in your ten journals with no extra creativity, you will score no higher than a 75. 


Listed below are ideas for the subject of your journal, the character you are assuming as you write. There are enough for one person per subject.  NO EXCEPTIONS.    If you have another idea, you must clear it with me first.


  1. You are St. Augustine, who around 597 established the monastery at Canterbury.  You were instrumental in bringing Christianity to the British Isles.


  1. You are Patrick of Ireland (390-461) who brought Christianity to Ireland.


  1. You are Abbess Hulda, the spiritual director for Venerable Bede (673-735).


  1. You are a daughter of William Baxter and are part of the family with whom Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, lived in Scotland.


  1. You are Jane Clairmont (also called Claire), daughter of Mary Shelley’s stepmother.


  1. You are T.S. Eliot, who was an atheist until his conversion to Christianity.  He was strongly influenced in his themes by WWI.


  1. You are a young person in Burma who lived under British rule there, especially during the time that George Orwell served as a member of the police force there.


  1. You are a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII.


  1. You are one of the designers of the Titanic and are on its first voyage.


  1. You are a journalist who covered the life of Princess Diana.


  1. You are an aide to Winston Churchill.


  1. You are a guard in the Tower of London during the time that the two princes are held there.


  1. You are Robert Deveraux, Earl of Essex and advisor to Elizabeth I.


  1. You are William Cecil, chief minister to Elizabeth I.


  1. You are a member of the crew of Captain John Smith, sailing from London to found Jamestown, Virginia.


  1. You are Thomas Cardinal Woolsey, and you know Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, and Anne Boleyn.


  1. You are Sir Thomas More.  Why did you write Utopia?  How do you feel about Henry VIII?


  1. You are Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.


  1. You worked on plays with James Burbage, actor and builder of “The Theater” during the Renaissance.


  1. You are Sir Walter Raleigh, explorer and diplomat.


  1. You are Sir Thomas Nashe, pamphleteer and satirist.


  1. You are Sir Thomas Drake, first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe.


  1. You are one of the Mayflower pilgrims who is in a group of dissenters who left England and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1620.


  1. You are Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, a contemporary of Sir Thomas Wyatt and innovative sonnet writer during the time of Henry VIII.


  1. You are Christopher Marlowe, dramatist and poet, who died in mysterious circumstances.


  1. You are David Livingstone (1813-1873), Scottish missionary to Africa.


  1. You are the daughter of William Shakespeare.


  1. You are a member of the Children’s Crusade to the Holy Lands.


  1. You are a member of the court of King John, son of Henry II, who was forced to sign the Magna Charta.


  1. You are the wife of a nobleman during the Middle Ages.  You husband is away in battle.


  1. You are a young lad, the son of a nobleman in the Middle Ages, who is preparing for knighthood.


  1. You are Mary Slessor (1848-1915), Scottish missionary to Calabar, Africa.


  1. You are William Caxton, first English printer (1422-91)


  1. You are a lady-in-waiting in the court of Eleanor of Acquitaine.


  1. You are a modern researcher trying to discover if King Arthur was a historical figure or merely legend (check www.britannia.com/history/h12.html)


  1. You are William Carey (1761-1792), Baptist missionary to India.


  1. You are one of the knights serving Henry II (clue: Thomas a Beckett is important here)


  1. You are a pardoner during the Middle Ages, not the Pardoner from Canterbury Tales, but a member of the same profession.


  1. You are the owner of the Tabard Inn during the Middle Ages.


  1. You are C.T. Studd, cricket player and missionary to China, India, and Africa in the 1800s.


  1. You are Louise Lehzen, German governess of Queen Victoria.


  1. You are Guy Fawkes, and you have devised the famous Gunpowder Plot.  What effects on literature does this plot have?  (Hint:  Macbeth was influenced by it).


  1. You are James Boswell, who wrote a biography of Samuel Johnson to record Johnson’s wisdom for posterity so others could be influenced by him.


  1. You are Ann Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, a poet during the Romantic Period.


  1. You are a child during the Industrial Revolution who works under hazardous conditions.  Your situation is of special concern to the poet William Blake.


  1. You are Dr. Erasmus Darwin, forefather of Charles Darwin, lived and did scientific experiments during the time of Mary Shelley, and she references him in her introduction to Frankenstein.


  1. You are a literary critic during the 1800s and have done research into the life of William Wordsworth. 


  1. You are a curator of a museum in London and are preparing a display to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s death.


  1. You are Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria and the one who designed the Great Exhibition in 1851.


  1. George Eliot is the pen name of Mary Ann Evans.  How did you grow up and what environment caused you to take the name of a man as a pen name for your novel Silas Marner.


  1. You are Arthur Hallam, friend and mentor of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.


  1. You are the son of Robert and Elizabeth Browning, the famous Victorian poets.


  1. You are Edward Lear (1812-1888), landscape painter and illustrator of nature and travel books.  Your sideline interest in writing nonsense verse brought you fame.


  1. You are a poverty-stricken Irishman leaving Ireland during the Great Famine of 1848.


  1. You are Florence Nightingale, who founded modern nursing practices during the Crimean War of the 1850s.


  1. You are an air raid warden living in London during WWII during the London Blitz, which lasted from September 1940 to May 1948. German planes dropped bombs on London every night.


  1. You are Margaret Paston, writer during the Middle Ages.


  1. You are the “dark lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets.


  1. You are the historical Macbeth.


  1. You are John Milton’s amanuensis, an assistant who reads and writes for someone else.  You have recorded the poems of Milton since he has been blind since he was 44 years old.


  1. You are the poet Amelia Lanier, who wrote poems to promote the cause of equality for women in England.


  1. You are Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), British missionary to China.




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